Hello again, horror fans. Welcome to another edition of Horror With a Side of Cheese. I am on the hunt for the cheesiest horror films ever made. Twice per month, on the first and third Fridays, I come here to talk about my latest finds. The chosen media comes from around the world, from any decade and any subgenre. I rate the movies on a scale of one to five cheese slices. Several factors go into the rating, such as acting, story, dialogue, effects and re-watchability. In this edition, I am discussing the 2020 movie Psycho Ape! Stick around to see how many cheese slices I give this one.
About Psycho Ape!
The premise of this film is incredibly straightforward. A killer gorilla escapes from a zoo. After it is loose, the gorilla begins a killing spree. No one is safe with a banana in this prime ape’s hands. The only question is whether Dr. ZOOmis (Bill Weeden) can stop the deadly creature before it kills again.
Psycho Ape! stars Kansas Bowling, Bill Weeden, and Stephen Albers. The supporting cast consists of Dylan Mars Greenberg, Amanda Flowers, Jason Dietz, Adrian Esposito, Max Delgado, Jason Delgado, Noah Chapp, Samir R. Asfahani, Cody Clarke and others. Addison Binek directed the film. The story is written by Binek, Stephen Albers and Greg Deliso.
This movie does not have a score on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 6.3/10 on IMDb.
There is so much to unpack with this one. First, I must point out that Psycho Ape! is intended to be within the realm of a chaotic, terrible, hilarious, yet good horror. For anyone who has yet to see it, I am happy to report that it fits that definition quite nicely.
Over the years, many movies in varying genres have revolved around apes. Generally speaking, each of these films is serious. That is one reason this parody is so refreshing. Psycho Ape! knows precisely what it needs to be and embraces the weirdness. In the beginning, an introduction calls the movie the worst ape film you will ever see. Somehow, this increases enjoyment.
First, let’s dive into the story. This element is incredibly basic, which, in my thinking, is necessary for something like this to work. There is a psychotic gorilla that likes to murder humans with bananas. Said creature escapes from the zoo where it is being held and takes up killing once again. After one person survives, the furry murderer begins a hunt that can only end one of two ways.
As to the dialogue, it is incredibly cheesy. Imagine, if you will, an ape coming across two guys in the woods enjoying a couple of bongs. The gorilla does not speak, but the two guys do, and it is the exact type of conversation you could envision. At times the dialogue verges into meta territory, which lends to the ridiculous nature of it all. Overall, every sentence is another notch in the crazy cheesy experience.
The acting, by design, is terrible and fun. That is to say that the actors go over-the-top and nonsensical on purpose to increase the insanity of the film. Kansas Bowling does an excellent job playing someone with the surname Banana. Stephen Albers is great as the ape. Although, my favorites may be the news anchors and Dr. ZOOmis.
One of the cheesiest parts of Psycho Ape! is the effects. If you are old enough to remember Microsoft Movie Maker, imagine using that program to make a movie about a killer gorilla, and you will be spot on. The overlays for the blood, the plastic feet and hands, and the overlay explosions are the perfect combination of brilliant and weird. I laughed uncontrollably at some moments. The ape is fond of using bananas as a weapon of choice. There are scenes where the banana slits throats, stabs people and any number of odd uses for the food item. Also, the ape costume resembles those horrible ones popular in ’70s movies.
Finally, re-watchability. Whenever I need a good laugh, I will likely turn to this movie. It is gory and fun, hilarious and wild. If you like campy, cheesy, weird horror, you will like this one. Do not go into it expecting a serious film with an in-depth plot, character development and brilliant effects. This is one of those experiences that are so bad they’re good. I am giving Psycho Ape! 4.5 cheese slices. If you want to give this movie a chance, it is available to rent or buy on Prime Video.
Have you seen this one? Let us know in the comments. If you know a cheesy movie I need to see, leave the title in the comments. Until next time, horror fans, enjoy the trailer below, stay cheesy, stay spooky and above all, watch more horror movies.